Rembrandt’s Night Watch uncropped by AI 300 years after it was trimmed

With a mix of artificial intelligence and arduous research, the researchers have been using Rembrandt van Rijn night watch to original size AP communication Reports have been trimmed for centuries to fit on small walls. The work was carried out as part of the Operation Night Watch project, the results of which are on display in the Honor Gallery of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The result is an original drawing next to a printed strip that fills in the missing pieces.

night watch It was originally completed in 1642, and has since been hung from the clubhouse of the civil militia on which it was based. But 70 years later it was moved to a new location that didn’t have room for the entire painting, and was rudely cut to fit. Much of it has been removed from the left, along with small pieces on the top, bottom and right.

A painting with the lost side restored.
Image: Rijksmuseum

Although the lost pieces of canvas were not recovered, AP Researchers report that Gerrit Lundens was able to reconstruct them thanks to a small copy of the original painted at the time. For nearly two years, he took scans, X-rays, and 528 digital exposures of Rembrandt’s original paintings, training AI models to mimic Rembrandt’s style and fill in the blanks based on Lundens’ copies. “Rembrandt certainly could have done it more beautifully. But this is very close,” said museum director Taco Dibbits.

This means that visitors will be able to see new details in the margins of the paintings when they can view the restored paintings in the coming months at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. On the left are two new faces. It’s not just a lack of frames here, it’s also a little kid leaning against a railing. This work sheds a new light on painting, 300 years after the Dutch masterpiece was unconsciously messed up.

If you can’t go to the Rijksmuseum to see the work in person, the museum recently released a high-resolution scan of a (cropped) painting, detailed enough to see individual brushstrokes and cracks.


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